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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Bigger Bang for the Buck, A; Interview with Alexei Roshin, 1986

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Alexei Roshin served in the Soviet Foreign Ministry from the 1940s to 1960s. He recalls his participation in the San Francisco conference of 1946 that established the United Nations, and explains the Soviet position on issues such as whether the big powers should decide by themselves on security matters (the Soviet preference in order to maximize the chances for stability, in his view). Another issue was the Baruch Plan, which he states was not satisfactory to Moscow because it presupposed an American monopoly on nuclear energy for military purposes. Other issues touched upon are China and North Korea in the context of the U.N. Turning to the Test Ban Treaty, he doubts a direct connection with the Cuban missile crisis because some of the talks had begun prior to the crisis. He also denies that military and civilian opinions in the Soviet Union were split over the treaty. He then recalls the atmosphere at the time of its signing, and the sense of achievement it engendered in the USSR.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Bigger Bang for the Buck, A
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Interview with Alexei Roshin, 1986

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

For the destructive power they deliver, nuclear weapons are cheap and efficient. In the 1950’s the United States begins to rely on nuclear, rather than conventional, weapons for its defense.

As nuclear policy evolved during the Eisenhower Administration, three factors combined to produce a new American reliance on nuclear weapons: pressure to control the federal budget (the “bigger bang” argument); competition as each branch of the American military adapted nuclear weapons to its mission; and Soviet bluffs that fueled American fears about a “bomber gap” and later a “missile gap.” On October 4, 1957, Sputnik, the Soviet satellite that was the first to orbit Earth, shocked Americans and delighted the Soviets. A month later, the Soviets launched Sputnik 2 with a dog on board. Both the Soviets and the Americans knew that a booster capable of carrying a dog into space could also deliver a nuclear warhead across a continent in 30 minutes.



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Raw video

Media Type


Great Britain
Soviet Union
United Nations. Security Council
United States
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)
Bloom, Sol, 1870-1949
International relations
Korean War, 1950-1953
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
Gromyko, Andrei Andreevich, 1909-1989
Baruch, Bernard M. (Bernard Mannes), 1870-1965
Moscow, Russia
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Roshin, Alexei (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Bigger Bang for the Buck, A; Interview with Alexei Roshin, 1986,” 04/10/1986, GBH Archives, accessed December 11, 2023,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Bigger Bang for the Buck, A; Interview with Alexei Roshin, 1986.” 04/10/1986. GBH Archives. Web. December 11, 2023. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Bigger Bang for the Buck, A; Interview with Alexei Roshin, 1986. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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